As 2016 winds to a close, we’re moving through our list of accepted tracks quickly. These candidates bring a considerable amount of variety, but are all worthy of consideration. If you’re a fan of folk, Americana, rock, or roots music you’ll find much to enjoy here. If you find one you like, go follow or like the artist on social media and tell them ETTG sent ya!
The Talbott Brothers – “We Got Love”
-We’ve featured a lot of “brother” acts around here, but these guys are the real deal. The Talbott Brothers have a gleeful folk style that is equal parts optimistic and captivating. The way the track was recorded makes you feel like you’re standing in the middle of a big theater and the guys are playing this just for you. The message is a proclamation of truth that I find inspiring and hopeful. “We got love!” Wonderful stuff.
BeLL – “Bang Band (Remember My Name)”
-This is an excellent pop song. There’s a bit of the Adele style of “big vocal” here, but also a thoughtful and engaging lyrical style. This is the stuff hits are made of. BeLL’s vocals are powerful and consistently on point. The song’s message is a bit cryptic, I think about breakup sex, but still the overall feel of the song makes you think it could work with a remix in a club or just as is on a pop playlist.
Little Quirks – “Hold On”
-Take a strong alto voice and a quality violin line combining for a dark and somber folk song. It really works nicely in the way that I’ve always enjoy Noah and Abby Gundersen playing together. The lyrics implore for someone to “hold on.” It has the weight and gravitas of a sincere, heartfelt cry for help. The whole song comes across as a deeply personal, rich, and rewarding folk song. Call it “alt” folk if you will, but it’s still an endlessly fascinating song.
Hollow Coves – “Coastline”
-One of my favorite parts of having an essentially “blind” review process is that we know very little about the artist before we click play. It allows the music, especially the opening lines, to really get that “yes” or “no.” In this case, Hollow Coves are literally on the other side of the world in Australia. Yet here they are getting a prime time spot on our website, with the potential for more coverage because of this authentic folk sound. The song is a bit of a hopeless romantic pop ballad, but it does so really well. For all you Aussies in the summer, this is the perfect summer jam. It’s always nice for us to put in our earbuds and pretend we’re at the beach with you, too.
The Soft White Sixties – “Miss Beverly”
-This song has a Maroon 5 meets Nate Rateliff vibe to it. Yeah, that much energy. The vocals are pretty freaking killer and the song overall is a driving rhythm. If you’re a fan of pop songs that get you out of your seat and moving, you’ll get into this one. It’s a sort of confident “cock of the walk” kind of song, trying to get a woman to notice him. I’m not sure if there’s a layer of metaphor here, but the song is so much fun you’ll pay more attention to the guitars, beat, and vox than you will the lyrics.
The Banter – “Ms. Loneliness”
-The Banter has a sound that reminds me of several different artists, but I can’t quite put my finger on who. In fact, I’m not even sure what genre this song is, but there are definitely elements of new country and maybe some pop rock stuff going on. What’s interesting about the song is that the lyrics are perfectly delivered with great enunciation. That sounds like a trite point, but it’s nice to really follow the song’s message about loneliness. It’s about personifying the feelings of depression and coping with them through music, relating it to other people with great bluesy pop style.
Kevin Chambers – “The Way Home”
-Kevin Chambers is a legitimately talented singer songwriter. One might hear Ben Folds or even Matt Thiessen in his piano ballad style, but really he deserves his own style. The music is appropriately placid, ushering genuine heartfelt lyrics. It’s a song about the odyssey home, of course, but the introspective elements of the lyrics really make it work well. Chambers can really sing the lines with conviction, making for a cerebral and engaging overall style.
Nilu – “What I’m Looking For”
-I told some of my friends that this song is what the “it” factor sounds like. Seriously my note on Nilu says “exceptional singer songwriter.” From vocal inflection to chromatic intonation, there are so few artists who can do what she does on this track. The minimalist instrumentation means she needs to be on with every single note… and she is. The song is romantic and endearing, but also richly complicated. It’s a bit of jazz, some nice blues progressions, and an overall unique sound that proves that no matter how many songs are written there’s always something new to be done. I will be watching Nilu’s career like a hawk.
The Good Folks – “Lost”
-Sometimes I hear a song that just feels so comfortable I have a hard time finding words for it. This line, “you remember the pain… it burns so deep you can barely breath.” Wow. The song made me think of people, places, and events that are stark and vivid in my mind. It touches my heart in ways that folk music always should, but often does not. The song rolls along nicely. The bass (standup? I would guess) provides a kind of “bottom” to the song that reminds me of Cicada Rhythm and a sound that just… feels right. True folk.
POPFILTER – “In Love Again”
-You might call this indie pop or just indie rock, but it’s a highly energizing atmospheric rock style that is really popular right now. The message of desiring love is also infinitely relatable. When you put those factors together, it’s easy to hear how this could really be a massive hit of a song in the right circles. The repetitive electro elements remind me of bands like Owl City. The whole package comes together for a pop-tastic performance that doesn’t go overly deep, but soothes the soul in its own way.